Nearly 50 countries are violating international sanctions against North Korea at a time when the United States is trying to isolate Kim Jong Un's dishonest regime, according to a new report from the Institute of Science and International Security.
The United Nations Security Council has imposed sanctions against North Korea in recent years to put pressure on the hermit kingdom and abandon the development of its nuclear weapons program. But the North Korean regime has become adept at avoiding sanctions and finding countries willing to do business with him, the report said.
"In its efforts to promote its nuclear, missile and conventional military programs, North Korea seeks to undermine international sanctions and export control laws of other countries, and has long sought to find comprehensive governments or countries with controls. weak or non-existent exports that will provide these programs or will be more conducive to military and commercial cooperation, "wrote the authors of the report.
"North Korea also targets states that are strong implementers of export controls and uses deceptive methods, such as companies or direct actors, to circumvent the export control laws of these countries, "they continued.
The bellicose rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has reached a peak in recent months, especially when North Korea flexed its military muscles and claimed that it has an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.
In response, new sanctions were applied against North Korea's fuel and textile sectors in September. The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has called on all countries to "cut trade with the regime by halting all imports and exports" and expelling all North Korean workers.
But Tuesday's report shows that there are still many countries willing to do business with North Korea.
It was discovered that at least 13 governments had violated sanctions against North Korea in cases involving the army, including the export of military equipment to North Korea. Angola, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Syria and Uganda were only some of the countries included in the list.
Nineteen countries participated in non-military cases of sanctions violations that involved doing business with North Korea or facilitating financial transactions. European countries such as Bulgaria, Germany, Poland and Romania were included in this list, like Russia.
Meanwhile, 18 countries, including major economies such as India and China, imported goods and minerals sanctioned from North Korea. According to experts, this large volume of business shows how quickly the North Korean regime has managed to develop new sophisticated ways to thwart sanctions.
"North Korea's commercial networks have developed sophisticated methods for evading sanctions, often relying on foreign companies or operating in jurisdictions with weak export control or anti-money laundering laws. , many countries lack the interest or technical ability to fully comply with UN sanctions, leading to uneven implementation worldwide, "said Daniel Wertz, associate director of the National Committee of North Korea, Newsweek .
"The United States has pressured countries more diplomatically to comply with UN Security Council resolutions and has been increasingly willing to apply unilateral sanctions to third-country entities that have facilitated violations of North Korean sanctions . "Wertz continued. "This may lead to greater international compliance with the UN sanctions regime, but I think it is very likely that North Korea's overseas networks are doing their best to adapt to the new circumstances and find new or alternative ways to evade the sanctions. "
For now, it seems that there is not much that the international community can do except to pressure countries to comply with sanctions.
"It is quite difficult to get all the members to sign the sanctions, but getting them to implement the sanctions is even more complicated," said Mark Goldberg, an expert at the UN, Newsweek .
"In theory, all are bound by international law to enforce sanctions, it is up to the US to press countries bilaterally to comply with their international obligations"